So Bobby Johnson has retired from college football. If you watched the press conference, here were your takeaways:
1) Bobby Johnson is the antithesis of the stereotypical college head coach. He made headlines when he installed a no-cussing policy for all his players. Without looking, I can assure you he racked up fewer self-reported violations than any other SEC school over his 8 seasons as head coach. He's ALWAYS forthright. And interestingly enough, he cares so deeply for his wife that he factored her into his retirement decision above all else. Not exactly Mike Dubose. When Bobby Johnson says he is retiring, you know it's going to stick.
2) It clearly was a difficult decision for him. You can tell he cares deeply for the players, the coaches, the administration and the school. Aside from a Rajaan Bennett or a Kwane Doster, you never saw a tear from him, and you'll never see another tear from him again.
3) The more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that July IS the best time for a coach like Bobby Johnson at a school like Vanderbilt to retire. If he retires at the end of a season, recruiting for the following year is completely screwed. Anytime between December and the end of June and the recruits they've signed can opt out (which might be worse than having no traction for the following year). By mid-July, they're enrolled in summer school. Also, the current/future coaching staff can begin damage control at the earliest possible time for the next recruiting class. As a follow up, this is probably why Vandy's 2011 recruiting class had really yet to grow (especially compared with where they were with the 2010 class a year ago). CBJ obviously was having a hard time selling to recruits, knowing that he probably wasn't going to be there. If you want to show me another head coach in the SEC with that kind of integrity when it comes to recruiting, I'll show you a liar.
4) I'm not sure how much this is going to affect the program this coming season. CBJ trusted his staff to the utmost. Fowler called defensive plays. Offense was by committee last season (and Jimmy Kiser will have those duties this season). Sure, you don't have the Silver Fox out there roaming the sidelines, but aside from an overall leadership/strength aspect, how much did CBJ influence each position, day to day? We're going to find out.